Tabletop curling
Ambassador Games

Team Shuster tabletop curling game to hit stores

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You’ve seen tabletop football and hockey, but what about curling?

The Team Shuster Gold Medal Tabletop Curling Set is set to hit TJ Maxx stores this fall, as first reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The game is marketed as “developed and endorsed” by the U.S. Olympic men’s curling team of John ShusterTyler George, Matt HamiltonJohn Landsteiner and Joe Polo that made a stunning run to gold in PyeongChang.

The game features little stones that curl and is similar to shuffleboard, plus a curling 101 guidebook.

The idea was hatched by an Ambassador Games employee in Hong Kong shortly after the Olympics.

Team Shuster competed two weeks ago for the first time since PyeongChang and has at least four events planned through the end of October.

The return followed a whirlwind six months that included honors at Minnesota sports events and golf tournaments, including meeting Jack Nicklaus. Shuster was invited to an April White House state dinner. Hamilton got his own bobblehead.

George has left the team for an indefinite break from the sport, replaced by veteran Chris Plys. It was Plys who replaced Shuster in the lineup at the 2010 Olympics, when Shuster was benched after an 0-4 start.

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MORE: Top moments from Team USA’s run to curling gold

Tabletop curling
Ambassador Games

Viktor Ahn retires as greatest Olympic short track speed skater

Viktor Ahn
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Viktor Ahn, the most decorated short track speed skater in Olympic history, has retired after eight medals with six golds competing for South Korea and then Russia, according to Russian media.

Ahn, 32, earned four medals and three golds each at the 2006 Olympics for South Korea (as Ahn Hyun-Soo, a top rival to Apolo Ohno) and the 2014 Olympics for Russia.

He missed South Korea’s team for the 2010 Olympics after undergoing four knee surgeries in the 15 months leading up to the Olympic Trials. Ahn’s club team dissolved, and his father contacted Russia’s federation. He became a citizen in 2011.

The International Olympic Committee did not invite Ahn to compete in the PyeongChang Olympics, the only way he could have competed in his birth nation due to sanctions placed on Russia for its poor anti-doping record.

“Not being included on the invitation list does not necessarily mean that an athlete has been doped — it should not automatically cast doubt on their integrity,” Valerie Fourneyron, who chaired the IOC panel determining Russian invites, said after the list was released. “The IOC would like to make clear that there may still be further enquiries and further anti-doping procedures coming up against a number of those athletes who have not been included on the pool of athletes considered for invitation.”

That exclusion prompted Ahn, who had never been implicated publicly in any doping cases, to write an open letter to IOC president Thomas Bach.

“It is outrageous that there is no concrete reason which explains my exclusion from the Olympics, and furthermore people now view me as an athlete who used doping,” Ahn wrote.

Russian speed skating federation president Aleksey Kravtsov said missing PyeongChang didn’t influence Ahn’s retirement, according to Russian news agency TASS.

“However, it was undoubtedly a huge blow for him,” Kravtsov said, according to the report. “His participation in the [2018] Olympics was initially seen as the last one in his career, which he was eventually planning to wrap up with.”

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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Yuzuru Hanyu eyes quadruple Axel this season

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Yuzuru Hanyu is getting serious about his dream to become the first figure skater to land a quadruple Axel in competition. He said Thursday that he wants to this season, according to Japanese media.

“I am still unable to jump it yet,” Hanyu said, according to an Olympic Channel translation. “I’d like to jump within this season.”

Hanyu is next scheduled to skate at the Autumn Classic in Ontario in three weeks, his first competition since he repeated as Olympic champion in PyeongChang.

“No one in competition has achieved successful quadruple Axel jumps, and there are very few people actually practicing even during training,” Hanyu said in PyeongChang, according to The Associated Press. “I want to continue my challenge towards achieving my dream of successfully performing the quad Axel, even if I may not be the first person to do so.”

Hanyu’s coach, two-time Olympic silver medalist Brian Orser, reportedly said in PyeongChang that, “if anybody could do it, it would be him. I just don’t want him to get hurt.”

Several skaters have attempted quad Axels in practices, including landing it in a harness.

“My coach and I are going around the idea of starting the quad Axel,” Canadian Olympian Keegan Messing said at the world championships in March, according to Inside Skating. “It’s a dream I’ve had for a very, very long time – as soon as I found out that no one did it, I wanted to be the first.”

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